The Godfather (1972)

Director: Francis Ford Coppola Cinematographer: Gordon Willis

Brilliantly combining the temperament of European art cinema with the Hollywood gangster genre of the past, Francis Ford Coppola’s epic mafia saga chronicles ten years (1945-55) in the lives of a fictional Italian American crime family. The film focuses most on the ageing patriarch Vito Corleone (a come back for Marlon Brando), and his youngest son, Michael Corleone (Al Pacino), whose transformation from war hero and reluctant family outsider to ruthless mafia boss propels much of the narrative. Coppola had to fight to cast Brando (and also Pacino), who gives a performance of immense authority amongst a magnificent cast of what were then mainly unknown actors. With a success that marked the transition from Classic Hollywood to New American Cinema and revitalised Paramount, The Godfather is a masterpiece of stunning artistry and masterful story telling that is continually lauded as one of the greatest and most influential films in world cinema.

Buy or Rent (watch online)
Widescreen Edition (DVD)
The Godfather 3-Movie Collection (DVD)
Coppola Restoration [Blu-ray]
The Godfather Notebook (book/audiobook)
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack [LP]
The Godfather Family Album (book)
The Godfather Trilogy (Original Soundtrack)
Part II (Buy or Rent, watch online)



  • Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone

After months of debate between directer Francis Ford Coppola and Paramount over Brando’s casting, the studio president Stanley Jaffe required him to perform a screen test. Coppola did not want to offend Brando and stated that he needed to test equipment in order to set up the screen test at Brando’s California residence. For make-up, Brando stuck cotton balls in his cheeks, put shoe polish in his hair to darken it, and rolled his collar. Coppola placed Brando’s audition tape in the middle of the videos of the audition tapes as the Paramount executives watched them. The executives were impressed with Brando’s efforts and allowed Coppola to cast Brando for the role if Brando accepted a lower salary and put up a bond to ensure he would not cause any delays in production. Brando received a net participation deal which earned him $1.6 million. His mesmerising performance revitalised a career that had gone into decline during the 1960s and brought him a best actor Oscar.

  • Al Pacino as Michael Corleone
  • James Caan as Sonny Corleone
  • Robert Duvall as Tom Hagen
  • Diane Keaton as Kay Adams
  • John Cazale as Fredo Corleone
  • Talia Shire as Connie Corleone
  • Gianni Russo as Carlo Rizzi
  • Richard S. Castellano as Peter Clemenza
  • Abe Vigoda as Salvatore Tessio
  • Al Lettieri as Virgil “The Turk” Sollozzo
  • Sterling Hayden as Captain Mark McCluskey
  • Lenny Montana as Luca Brasi
  • Richard Conte as Emilio Barzini
  • Al Martino as Johnny Fontane
  • John Marley as Jack Woltz
  • Alex Rocco as Moe Greene
  • Morgana King as Carmela Corleone
  • Corrado Gaipa as Don Tommasino
  • Franco Citti as Calò
  • Angelo Infanti as Fabrizio
  • Johnny Martino as Paulie Gatto
  • Victor Rendina as Philip Tattaglia
  • Tony Giorgio as Bruno Tattaglia
  • Simonetta Stefanelli as Apollonia Vitelli-Corleone
  • Richard Bright as Al Neri

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Produced by Albert S. Ruddy
Screenplay by Mario Puzo, Francis Ford Coppola
Music by Nino Rota
Cinematography Gordon Willis
Edited by William Reynolds, Peter Zinner
Running time 177 minutes
Country United States
Language English

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